This week’s internet outage was caused by one person

A bug in the system was triggered by one innocent person.

Millions of users lost access to a host of websites and internet services as 85% of Fastly’s content delivery network went down on Tuesday. The cause?  Someone updated their settings.

Fastly operates one of the world’s largest content delivery networks (CDN), and it’s been getting increasingly popular. CDN’s  provide millions of users with quick access to websites while remaining resilient to security threats and high peak usage.

After the outage, the company’s head of engineering, Nick Rockwell, spoke to The Guardian about what caused it.


“On May 12, we began a software deployment that introduced a bug that could be triggered by a specific customer configuration under specific circumstances,” he said.

“Early June 8, a customer pushed a valid configuration change that included the specific circumstances that triggered the bug, which caused 85% of our network to return errors.”

Rockwell added: “We detected the disruption within one minute, then identified and isolated the cause, and disabled the configuration. Within 49 minutes, 95% of our network was operating as normal.

“Even though there were specific conditions that triggered this outage, we should have anticipated it,” he said. “We provide mission-critical services, and we treat any action that can cause service issues with the utmost sensitivity and priority. We apologize to our customers and those who rely on them for the outage and sincerely thank the community for its support.”


The managing director of SEO Agency Reboot, Naomi Aharony, told The Guardian: “Although it seems they weren’t down for long, the impact it would have had will be huge, especially on e-commerce sites. With our research estimating Amazon could have potentially lost $6,803 (£4,820) every second it was down, it’s clear an investigation will want to be made to find out what happened.”

That’s around £289,256 ($408,180) a minute. If this holds true for the 49 minutes that the company was down, Amazon could have lost some £14.1M ($19.8M) during the outage.